Searchers Find Baby Mom Allegedly Put in Creek

Body of 5-month-old girl found
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 5, 2015 4:41 PM CST
Searchers Find Baby Mom Allegedly Put in Creek
Carl Hall of Horry County Fire and Rescue searches a creek for a 5-month-old girl believed to be lost in Socastee Swamp waters Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015.   (REV-SHARE)

Searchers found the body of a baby in a swollen, murky South Carolina creek on Thursday, two days after a mother said she put the 5-month-old girl into the water, according to police. Divers found the body about 3:45pm, Horry County police Chief Saundra Rhodes said at a news conference. Later, more than a dozen rescuers gathered in a circle, praying. Some of them wiped their eyes. "All of us have a sense of peace knowing we can lay her to rest properly," Rhodes said. On Tuesday, the girl's mother, Sarah Lane Toney, went to a home about 500 yards across the creek and swamp from her house near Myrtle Beach and told a woman she had put her baby into the creek, police said.

Toney was taken into custody and charged with unlawful conduct toward a child. A judge denied bond Thursday before the body was found. Toney asked officers at her bond hearing whether her baby had been found, then told the judge she should be released from jail because she didn't plan to leave the area and needed to take care of her older daughter, who was turned over to her father after Toney reported her baby disappeared in the water. "I went into the water with her, and I was unable to hold on to her," Toney said at her bond hearing. "I didn't intentionally put her in any danger. I was going with her, and I wasn't able to hold on to her when the water sucked me in." The baby was found less than 75 yards from her home. An autopsy has been ordered to determine how the girl died. Rhodes said her officers will consult with prosecutors, but she expects Toney to face charges in her daughter's death. (More child death stories.)

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